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tv   CBS Evening News With Scott Pelley  CBS  June 13, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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>> pelley: tonight news from the white house: the administration says it will send military support to the rebels in syria after proof that nerve gas was used in the civil war. major garrett and clarissa ward have the story. thousands are ordered out of laeir homes in colorado. more than 350 homes are gone. >> i do have -- one photo album. >> pelley: barry petersen on the worst wildfire in state history. can human genes be patented for profit? jan crawford has upreme court decision. and the mobster and the man next door. josh bond made a new friend then discovered his neighbor's true identity. >> i just helped the f.b.i. arrest the most-wanted man in america.
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captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news" with scott pelley. this is the "cbs evening news" >> pelley: good evening. the united states is getting more involved in the civil war in syria. the white house has just announced this evening that it will send military support to the rebels fighting the overthrow the dictatorship of bashar al-assad. the obama administration has been avoiding this step, but the president made the decision after u.s. intelligence informed him that assad's forces have used nerve gas against the rebels. this war began two years ago. tens of thousands of people are dead and the entire region has been destabilized. major garrett has just come from a briefing at the white house. major? >> reporter: scott, the obama white house has for the first time declared that the syrian regime of bashar al-assad has used chemical weapons to kill opposition fighters. u.s. intelligence communities
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say the syrian regime of bashar al-assad, as i said, has used a chemical weapon sarin multiple times, it says, in its war against the syrian rebels. now, the estimates are between 100 and 150 people have died. the administration says this "crosses clear red lines." the administration announced it was approving military shipments to the rebels. now, scott, it's important to point out the administration has not described the quantity or the quality of the military support it will provide or when it will arrive but it will say that this support is designed to help the rebels defend against "a repressive regime." one other note, no decision has been made about whether to attempt to impose a no-fly zone. that option, though, remains on the table. >> pelley: and no word on exactly what kind of weapons. major, thank you very much. this military support comes at the moment that the rebels have lost a key town and are suffering under assad's air force. the united nations estimated today that 93,000 have died in the war.
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clarissa ward has made many trips into the war zone and she's put a face to the numbers. >> reporter: even if the death toll continues to climb, no one is sure how many rebel fighters or government soldiers have been killed. nor is there a breakdown of how many civilians have lost their lives. but we can tell that many of the people we met on each of our trips inside syria are no longer alive. in february last year we went to idlib and stayed at the house of a rebel fighter named as sue, renown for his extraordinary mustache. he showed us aren't the old city and told us ant his dreams for a better syria. three days into our trip he was killed in a gun battle. he was one of four killed that day. five months later, we returned to idlib with a group of activists who had stolen an ambulance from the syrian regime. we sat next to abu henin as we traveled to the heart of rebel held territory to handout bags of medical supplies.
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in january, abu henin was killed when a shell hit the ambulance. on our most recent trip in april we stayed in the rebel stronghold of jebel al zawiya. we heard government fighter jets flying low overhead. six bombs were dropped on the tiny village where we were staying, hitting the house next to ours. the woman living there was killed. we had met her the previous evening. now there was nothing left of the house except the howling cries of her daughter. now, rebels we've managed to speak to are overjoyed at the prospect of the u.s. getting more involved. they can't quite believe what they're hearing but, of course, many others are concerned that more weapons will only leave more dead. >> pelley: clarissa in london, thank you very much. at least 38,000 people have been run out of their homes in colorado by a monster fire, the most destructive wild guyer the state has ever seen. it has burned 25 square miles around colorado springs and it
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is still out of control. tom smith helped remove branches to try to protect a neighbor's home. the fire has already destroyed at least 360 homes in a three-day rampage. more than 400 firefighters are battling the flames and barry petersen is on the scene. >> reporter: despite the constant dropping of fire retardant from air tankers dierks spite firefighters on the ground, the wind and the heat still have the upper hand. the flames change direction as the winds shifted, houses safe yesterday were engulfed in seconds and burned to the ground in minutes today. police raced through neighborhoods warning that homes and lives were at stake. >> get out. go! >> get in your car now! let's go! >> in another area police went door to door. >> for teresa feller it was hard to leave. >> it is on the last ridge and it is coming down, if it burns,
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we are out. i am out. >> barac bar barbara schmidt anr family fled in a matter of minutes. >> we could see the smoke and the ash falling and we knew we were -- we would be right in the direct path so i just got some of those essentials and headed out. >> she lost nearly everything. >> >> tonight, news of two deaths, reports suggest they were found in their garage, maybe trying to leave, the deaths now under investigation. tens of thousands are now evacuated and thousands more like john and kanda calef are on stand by alert so they pack and wait. >> this is all our pictures of our boys through the years. >> so that is really important? >> yes. that is stuff you can't replace. >> reporter: they can see the smoke from their back deck and a shift in the wind could bring the fire their way.
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>> the bad news is there is zero percent containment, that means this fire is still running wild. now, there are forecasts of thunderstorms for tomorrow, if some of that rainfalls in the he advantage i didn'ted area 93,000 acres it could help. there are 13,000 some homes in there still at risk. white house today. in virginia, a waterspout was spotted on the pawtuxet river. 146,000 homes and businesses lost power. it's the same system that tore through the midwest last night. this is a shot of lightning hitting the willis tower in chicago. there was a ground-breaking ruling at the u.s. supreme court today. the justices ruled unanimously that biotech companies may not patent human genes. but they said genes made in a lab may be patented.
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we have two reports tonight, first, chief legal correspondent jan crawford at the supreme court. >> reporter: the case put the justices on the cutting edge of science. they ruled human genes are products of nature and cannot be patented or controlled by the scientists who discover them. the ruling was a narrow victory for doctors and scientists who were challenging claims by utah- based myriad genetics, which is which has made a medical breakthrough. it identified and obtained patents on two genes, brca-1 and brca-2 that can show a woman is at a higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer. in its ruling written by justice clarence thomas the court said mere discovery was not enough to justify a patent. justify a patent. myriad did not create anything, the court said. to be sure it found important and useful gene, but separating that gene from its surrounding genetic material is n
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the patents meant myriad essentially controlled the genes and the genetic testing. women wanting to know if they were predisposed to breast or ovarian cancer had to use the company's tests and its labs. doctors and labs wanting to do their own testing on the cancer genes argued myriad's monopoly stifled research. myriad countered that companies should be rewarded for scientific discoveries which would encourage future innovation. on that point, the justices agreed. the court indicated most of today's genetic research-- including an agriculture and genetically modified crop-- remains eligible for patent protection. so long is there is something new with markedly different characteristics from any found in nature. and that's why the impact of today's ruling could be limited. in a statement, myriad points out the court upheld other claims and, scott, it's insisting that the bulk of its research still will qualify for patent protections, including
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the genetic testing. >> pelley: jan, thank you. so, what will this mean to america's biotech industry? senior business correspondent anthony mason has that part of the story. >> reporter: in research labs, they celebrated the court's decision. >> it's a great day for genomic liberty. >> reporter: christopher mason, a geneticist at new york's cornell medical college was an expert witness in the case. >> these are the tens of thousands of the genes. >> reporter: mason says the patents restricted scientists' ability to do important research. >> if you just have these patents you would have to hold your hand over different parts of these and say "i can't look here, i can't look here, these are prevented." >> reporter: to put it another way, he says -- >> imagine you wanted to write a book as an author but you couldn't use the word "the." it would be just as difficult to look through your d.n.a. and find a gene that didn't have at least one patent on it. >> reporter: but one estimate, more than 3,500 patents are held on naturally occurring gene
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sequences by pharmaceutical giants like amgen, genentech and glaxosmithkline. bio, the biotechnology industry organization, called the court's ruling "a troubling departure that could create business uncertainty." but the american medical association called it a clear victory for patients. >> we shouldn't hold hostage the best medical care just so someone can make a profit. we value lives more than we value profit. >> reporter: after falling sharply yesterday, most biotech stocks actually rallied today, in part because the ruling still protects patents on synthetic or artificial d.n.a.-- a big profit center for many biotech companies. >> pelley: anthony, thank you. we have another update now on a story that correspondent john miller broke about allegations that state department officials have interfered with criminal investigations of state department staff and even ambassadors. the department's inspector general was reportedly aware of eight separate incidents under
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investigation. today congressman ed royce, the chairman of the house foreign affairs committee, demanded to know why the inspector general never told congress about it. the u.s. population reaches a tipping point. 5,000 americans have been shot to death in the six months since newtown. and wait until you hear how much someone paid to park in this space when the "cbs evening news" continues. all business purchases. so you can capture your receipts, and manage them online with jot, the latest app from ink. so you can spend less time doing paperwork. and more time doing paperwork. ink from chase. so you can.
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>> pelley: tomorrow marks six months since a gunman shot and killed 20 first graders and six adults at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. today families of the victims were back in washington. they met with president obama and congressional leaders and made a new push for gun control. since newtown more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in this country. outside the capitol, the sandy hook families read their names one by one. >> devin aryal died of gun violence february 11, 2013. >> pelley: that name you heard, devin aryal, was the victim of a senseless shooting near st. paul minnesota. we asked manuel bojorquez to tell us more about devin and the man accused of shooting him. >> reporter: nine-year-old devin aryal loved soccer. his mother missy wears the medal he is won. >> we were inseparable.
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he always told me that we were superglued unless we were working or at school. nothing could ever break the superglue. >> reporter: but in february, aryal and her son were shot on their drive home from day care. she remembers hearing pops as she was about to turn at this intersection. >> as soon as i took that left my arm went numb and i just saw good gushing everywhere. >> reporter: what did you do? >> got out and started screaming "i've been shot! i've been shot!" i just happened to turn around and i seen my window and i seen devin and i dropped my phone and just started screaming like crazy. >> reporter: what did you see? >> my baby, my baby -- i couldn't help him. i said "my baby's been shot." >> reporter: devin died less than an hour later. this was the gunman. nhan tran told police he randomly fired at traffic because he was upset over car noise.
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tran's family later said he was mentally ill. but the 34-year-old was able to buy a gun because he had never been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. what needs to change? >> they've just got to have more mental or psych test before they even issue a gun to see if they're even mentally stable to even own one. >> reporter: but opponents of mental health checks for gun purchases argue the mentally ill are responsible for no more than 5% of violence crimes. some doctors worry that stricter standards could further stigmatize mental illness and deter people from getting help. >> we've got to do something with the gun laws so no more wonderful children like devin or newtown or any other children are going to be lost. he was everything. i feel like my soul's been sucked out and empty. i'm just empty on the inside.
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>> reporter: devin would have turned 10 next month. manuel bojorquez, cbs news, oakdale, minnesota. >> pelley: we'll have the latest on the health of nelson mandela coming up in a moment. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is. [ male announcer ] it's called ocuvite. a vitamin dedicated to your eyes, from bausch + lomb. as you age, eyes can lose vital nutrients.
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[ woman ] here's information you need to know. orencia is available in two forms, infusion and also self-injection. talk to your doctor to see if orencia is right for you. and see if you can change "i want" to "oh, yes i can!" >> pelley: south africa's president visited nelson mandela in the hospital today and said he continues to improve as he fights a lung infection. in an address to parliament, president jacob zuma said mandela, who is 94, should be remembered for his lifetime of work in fighting racial segregation. it was 49 years ago today that mandela first went to prison for battling the white-dominated government. the census bureau put out a new profile of america today. for the first time, minorities make up just about half the population under five years old. whites just over half. if bureau projects minorities
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will outnumber whites in that age group by next year. and in another first, there were more white deaths last year than births. we found another sign that the real estate market is getting hot. at a condominium in san francisco, a buyer paid $282,000 for 96 square feet. there it is. a 12 x 8 space in the condo parking lot. $82,000. what do you really know about your neighbors? his turned out to be one of the most wanted men in america. that story is next. xúxú [ female announcer ] love.
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making bp america's largest energy investor. our commitment has never been stronger. cancer survivors. the impact on medical research. next on kpix-5. weather talent appears at wx center with generic pinpoint filling monitor then we take >> pelley: federal prosecutors continued presenting their case today against whitey bulger, the
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boston mob boss accused of 19 murders. bulger spent 16 years on the run. he was arrested two years ago along with his girlfriend catherine grieg in santa monica, california. as bulger was hiding in plain sight, one of the people he befriended was a neighbor: josh bond. here's carter evans. >> reporter: josh bond moved to l.a. to break into the movie business. he ended up co-starring in the climax of notorious fugitive james "whitey" bulger's life on the run. >> first time i can remember meeting him he actually came to my door and knocked on my door one day and introduced himself and gave me a cowboy hat said he thought he didn't need it anymore and thought i could use it. >> reporter: that was 2007. josh bond was the new resident manager at the princess eugenia apartments in santa monica. the reclusive retirees who lived next door in apartment 303 went by carol and charlie gasko. >> josh bond was the one guy
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that whitey had a continuous kind of contact with, starting in '07. >> reporter: dick lehr co-wrote a biography on bulger. he told us when bond moved in whitey had a problem. >> he needed to know who was the guy in 2007 who moved in next door so what better try check that out but to knock on the door. >> reporter: and he kept knocking-- usually about once or twice a week. >> he was very nice to me. they were both very kind and generous, supportive. almost protective. >> reporter: during all those conversations, did he ever say anything that made you suspicious at all? >> no. >> reporter: acting on a tip from an f.b.i. hotline, an agent showed up in june, 2011, with a picture of bulger and catherine gregg. when you saw those pictures, what was your reaction? >> i was pretty shocked. >> reporter: bond helped the f.b.i. come up with a plan. he called the couple to say their basement storage locker had been broken into. when bulger went down to check, 40 agents were waiting.
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>> i called my family and i was like "i just helped the f.b.i. arrest the most-wanted man in america." they were like "huh?" >> after his arrest did you ever hear from him again? >> i got a few letters from him. >> reporter: did you write hit back? >> yeah. >> reporter: what do you talk about? >> i don't want to talk about that. he asked me not to talk about it so i'm not going to. >> reporter: did he say anything about the arrest? did he say anything to make you feel better about your involvement? >> yeah. i mean, he -- he said "don't worry about it." at that point they were going to get me with or without your help. >> reporter: bond says he may release the letters one day, when the man he used to call charlie gasko but now calls jim bulger passes away. carter evans, cbs news, santa monica. >> pelley: and that's the cbs news for tonight. for all of us at cbs news all around the world, good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
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>> your realtime captioner: linda marie macdonald it's a great day. this is a tremendous victory for women affected by breast cancer and really for all of us everywhere. >> celebration for some in the bay area after a high court ruling on human gene patents. critics say this could cripple the future of medical research. >> good evening, i'm elizabeth cook. >> i'm allen martin. your dna, the very genetic code that makes you who you are, that code is in fact yours. thanks to a unanimous ruling from the supreme court. justice clarence thomas wrote the court's opinion saying, a naturally occurring dna segment is a product of nature and not patent-eligible merely because it has been isolated. and that is a very big deal for
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breast cancer patients, bay area biotech companies and possibly your investment portfolio. >> congratulations on your sweet victory. >> reporter: victory and cake at the san francisco office of breast cancer action. >> this is a tremendous victory for women affected by breast cancer and really for all of us everywhere. >> reporter: in a unanimous decision the supreme court ruled that companies cannot patent human genes. >> our dna cannot be owned by companies. >> reporter: on the losing end of thatician ask, myriad genetics, which wanted to keep its patent on the same test that compelled angelina jolie to have a preventative double mastectomy. the patent meant that test was expensive and there was no second opinion. >> as we saw with angelina jolie, access to this information about a person's inherited risk of cancer is potentially life-saving. >> reporter: but it wasn't just myriad fighting to defend its patent. venture capitalists say today's ruling could slow the flow of money that develoif

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